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Brits paranoid about food poisoning

24 June 2005

Brits worry more about restaurant hygiene than anyone else in Europe.

A European-wide survey revealed that British restaurant goers came top of the worry list with 84% admitting to being concerned about poor restaurant hygiene and more than three-quarters (78%) fearing food poisoning when dining out.

The survey by Mori for Kimberley Clark showed 82% of French and Italians had similar hygiene concerns but that only half of Swiss and 42% of Germans.

However, BHA's deputy chief executive Martin Couchman cast doubt over the validity of the study, pointing out the survey's sponsors, Kimberley Clark, had a commercial interest in hygiene.

Couchman said: "The real question is ‘what's the actual risk?'. No one disagrees that bad hygiene is unacceptable but the study infers that there is more of a problem with food poisoning and bad hygiene in the UK than the rest of Europe. The numbers of people who actually get food poisoning is significantly less than those ‘concerned' about it."

Chef patron Aldo Zilli added: "All food outlets need looking into, not just restaurants. There are lots of pubs and takeaways where the kitchens are not up to scratch. We also should remember that instances of food poisoning over the past 10 years have gone down."

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